As technology is advancing exponentially in both aggressive and protective ways, experts are questioning how it should be used correctly in public spaces. One such place, a hub of both business and integral international relations, is the airport.
The travel centers face the conundrum of maintaining peak operational speeds for positive experiences. The local community risks losing the millions of dollars’ worth of benefits and services should the dilemma remain unaddressed and unsolved.
These spaces are increasingly utilizing the Cloud to ensure positive passenger experiences by defusing safety threats as well as orchestrating large, everyday airport operations in an efficient manner.
The question is not will airports need to adjust, but rather what proactive steps are they currently taking to mitigate these conflicting issues?
Personal Security Advancement
Airport security screening is a solid first approach to utilizing technology to its fullest. It will make air travel quicker, safer, and more efficient. With it already being used within governmental security agencies to recognize faces, why can’t airports use this tool to lessen security wait times?
Not to mention it would also lessen the cost of manpower and the opportunity for airport employees to be radicalized.
As early as 2017, U.S. President Trump signed an executive order asserting that 100% of international passengers coming into the country through customers will undergo facial recognition to mitigate any terrorist threats.
By 2021, all 20 of the busiest airports in the U.S. will reportedly be utilizing facial recognition technology. U.S. airport giants such as Atlanta and Seattle along with 15 others are already testing the U.S. Customers and Border Protection (CBP)’s biometric facial recognition technology at boarding gates.
The initial CBP trial has shown an impressive 98% accuracy rate. Photos of U.S. citizens are retained by the CBP for up to 12 hours post-capture and up to 14 days for non-U.S. citizens in case of emergency or security needs.
Although the U.S.’s strategy sounds extreme, facial recognition has already been implemented successfully in Singapore’s Changi Airport.
In fact, some may say successfully is an understatement. The airport has been consistently rated the best airport for 6 years in a row despite its large passenger statistic of 62.2 million people in 2019 alone.
Changi Airport manages to use technology brilliantly to streamline the consumer experience, reduce manpower, and become more efficient even in the face of astronomical passenger statistics. Their “Terminal 4” holds its international fame in being completely contactless reducing the necessary manpower by 20%.
Passengers begin their journey by using a kiosk to check-in before having a machine scan and whisk their luggage away.
Accidentally drop some trash?
No worries- there are automatic cleaning robots milling around to keep the area tidy. Proceeding to the security checkpoints, guests will find that instead of security guards there are machines that use facial recognition and fingerprint software to easily let the appropriate passengers enter the gate area.
According to SATS LTD’s CEO Alex Hungate, “More than 1 billion people in Asia will fly for the first time between now and 2035. Automation can help the company manage higher volumes without any additional manpower.”
It is Changi’s hope that with these automation advances world airports will be ready for the new influx of passengers in the coming years.
The Changi, Copenhagen, Hartsfield-Jackson, and Zurich airports have all already invested in impressive technology security systems that rely on the Cloud. However, group access to Cloud computing is also imperative at airports to increase operations efficiency.
For airports such as the Hartsfield-Jackson Airport, any organizational benefit the Cloud can provide is desperately needed.
In 2018, the airport has 192 gates, 7 concourses, 2 terminals, and 4,700 acres of land to organize and maintain for its 850,000 visiting aircrafts and over 100 million travelers.
The Cloud is a godsend for airports of this magnitude. Details such as automatic updates on flight statuses mean that when passengers land they are greeted with new connections and information instead of desperate confusion and stress. Their bags are already rerouted to the appropriate flight and gates can be changed at the airport the plane is arriving at to accommodate new schedules.
Mechanics can breathe easy on standby as they can monitor aircraft issues from their headquarters using both the Cloud and IoTs, knowing exactly where they should be waiting and what issue they should fix when the plane arrives. Manufacturers at their factories receive immediate alerts to ship out parts without having to have the mechanics report, then order, then wait on backorder, then have it finally arrive.
Through airlines using one cloud instead of various systems to communicate with other airports, hundreds of hours are saved in reporting vital information and millions of passengers are kept happy and on time.
Future Higher Than the Clouds
The Cloud can be a blessing for airports if used correctly. Positive changes to the airport passenger experience through the Cloud has led to happier passengers despite the increase in travelers.
As with all new technology, there are wrinkles to be ironed out and changes to be made. Continuous future Cloud advancements will work to address and fixed any bugs leading to more advanced, more safe, and more streamlined airport experiences.
Written by Liz Newsom, Digital Marketing PR Specialist at Intelligence.